Making Research Accessible initiative

The MRAi seeks to improve access to academic research and community-generated materials with a focus on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES).

Making Research Accessible Initiative

The need to access high-quality research and information was brought to the attention of the UBC Learning Exchange by people living and working in the DTES. These groups voiced their concern with research projects that extracted information and findings that were locked behind publisher paywalls. Members of community organizations also identified the need to preserve community-generated materials.


  1. Increase the accessibility and impact of research by providing online open-access to research with a focus on the DTES including plain-language summaries.
  2. Work with community organizations and residents to digitize community-generated materials such as program reports, research and evaluation documents, and organizational histories and provide online access to increase availability in and beyond the DTES.
  3. Create opportunities to share information and learn from one another (i.e. knowledge mobilization)

Who we are

The Making Research Accessible initiative is a partnership between the UBC Learning Exchange and the UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, with input from the UBC Office of Community Engagement, the UBC Knowledge Exchange Unit, the UBC School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies (iSchool), Simon Fraser University Library, and the Vancouver Public Library.

What we do

The MRAi is working to develop the DTES Research Access Portal (RAP), an open-access portal anyone can use to access research findings and community-generated materials that focus on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (see video, below). We also aim to foster environments where faculty members, students, community organizations, community members, and other stakeholders can learn from and collaborate with each other. By providing more ways to share findings, we hope to broaden the positive impact of evidence-based information.

Review our Statement on Guiding Principles and Actions to learn more.


For more information about the Making Research Accessible initiative, please contact the Academic Director of the UBC Learning Exchange, Michelle Stack.